Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Writer / Director Gregory Orr's evil cloning film 'Recreator' begins with Craig (Alexander Nifong), his girlfriend Tracy (Stella Maeve) and his number one boy Derek (Jamal Mallory-McCree) hopping on a rowboat to have some fun in the wild in the form of camping.  It doesn't take long to recognize that as far as girlfriends go, Tracy is not a very good one.  She's bitchy, self-important and whiney, and most importantly she doesn't seem to be all that crazy about her boyfriend, who admittedly seems a little low on backbone.  Also Tracy doesn't understand the basic concepts behind camping.  For instance, Tracy has to go to the bathroom, but instead of going in the woods as any reasonable thinking person would understand while camping, Tracy breaks into the plush cabin of a wealthy couple, who aren't home at the time, walks around a bit, grabs some reading material, then casually squeezes off a few in their toilet.  What kind of person does something like that?  Tracy, that's who.

About that couple that owns the cabin… they're kind of dead… in a way… sort of.  There was this weird storm, electricity zapped something on this island and the next thing you know Dr. Frank Miller (John de Lancie) and his wife Elizabeth (Laura Moss) are being replaced by newer, better versions of Dr. Frank Miller and Elizabeth.  Say what?  How did that happen?

Back to our trio of young people, all three of them are now illegally cohabiting in the cabin because Derek is afraid of lightning, even though he's slated to go to Afghanistan in a few weeks.  Then they had the misfortune making the acquaintance of the murderous versions of Dr. Miller and his wife, and it looked to be all but over for them, until they were rescued by themselves.  Getting a little weird, isn't it?
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Obviously Craig, Tracy and Derek are freaking out since they are now occupying space with these almost perfect copies of themselves.  Almost perfect.  You see these copies are just a little bit better.  Smarter, stronger, faster, funnier and they've retained all of their memories so they know everything that our kids have done that is stupid or wrong and they can improve upon these foibles.  For instance Original Craig is bit of a wimp, where New Craig is forceful, willful and strong and doesn't have any of Original Craig's self-worth issues.  New Derek is almost completely disgusted with Original Derek and his vast intellectual shortcomings, but we gotta admit that New Tracy seems a lot nicer than Original Tracy. 

Despite the fact that everybody seems to be getting along at the moment, the clones know that this can only end one way since the originals have the lives they need, and the originals are clearly aware of this as well.  Outmatched physically and intellectually, I'm not liking the originals chances of getting off this island.

As  it shakes out, 'Recreator' is a fairly entertaining, albeit slow moving piece of Science Fiction tinged melodrama that we did ultimately enjoy, but we must mention that the originals did have one major thing going for them over their clones.  Without getting all into the 'why' of the clones which is explained in this movie in a reasonable fashion, just know that the DNA to create the clones occurred when one flushed the toilet.  Thus the clones are essentially made out of dookey.  So while my clone might've been all gung ho to kill my ass an take my place in this world with his amazingly superior gifts, I would've pointed out to him that I spawned from two people who were sort of in love with each other, at least at that moment, while he came from a turd.  I don't know if this would've helped me live longer, but it sure would've made me feel better.

There are a number of things that help push 'Recreator' along, starting with the concept because clone movies, for whatever reason, fascinate me.  Orr did a fine job of setting up his story and spinning his tale with only a minimum of head scratching discombobulation, which is an accomplishment since there is the tendency to go off the deep end when your film launches itself off of an admittedly wacky concept.  There were inconsistencies, but they were few and they weren't obtrusive.  The director and his team also used some clever camera tricks to get his actors into the scenery to get the originals and the clones occupying the same space which also helped sell the concept.

'Recreator' is slow however and probably could've benefited from a slightly quicker pace, and the acting overall from the relatively unknown cast was solid, if not inconsistent at times.  We did appreciate that the originals and the clones had different personalities, though the Tracy's probably weren't different enough.  Starting out we were of the mindset that while Alexander Nilfong is a good looking kid, he didn't seem to be much an actor, reminding me a little of Ashton Kutcher minus the charm, but his clone amped things up considerably so clearly he was just playing his original character down.

I'm always on board for a good clone movie and while 'Recreator' is slow, maybe boring to some, but sticking with it proved to be reasonably rewarding.
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